Detailed conference program

Thursday 27th March
NH Brussels City Centre Hotel, Chaussee de Charleroi 17

17:00 — check in participants

18:00 — tour in the European Parliament

19:30 — drinks for participants (paid by participants) in lobby of NH Hotel

20:30 — dinner in NH Hotel with keynote speaker
Prof.Dr. Miriam Meckel, State Secretary for Europe, International Affairs and Media, North-Rhine Westphalia: German (North-Rhine Westphalian) view on enlargement and future of Europe

Friday 28th March – open doors – European Parliament

Hosted by Johanna Boogerd, MEP

European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, entrance Spinelli, Room A1G-3

08:30 — Lecture: Candidates’ attitudes to the accession in a political context
Krzysztof Zagórski, CEORG, CBOS

08:50 — Lecture: political scepticism in V4: comparison with Netherlands/Belgium/Germany
Cas Mudde, University of Antwerp

09:20 — Panel: opinion on EU enlargement and political scepticism
Panelists: Krzysztof Zagórski, Cas Mudde, Vladimir Plesnik (Pravo, Czech Republic), Marek Ostrowski (Polityka, Poland)

10:20 — Coffee – transfer to conference

Conference: Problems and challenges of companies in enlarged Europe

(open conference, with external participation)

10:20 — Welcome coffee

10:30 — Opening of conference
Johanna Boogerd, MEP

10:40 — EU accession and economic expectations in Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland
István György Tóth, CEORG, TÁRKI

11:00 — Internal market in enlarged Europe. Are we ready?
Susan Binns, Directorate General Internal Market of the European Commission, Director of Directorate B

11:30 — Competition in enlarged Europe
John Ratliff; Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering

11:50 — Readiness of Eastern and Western Europe for enlargement
Max Smolka, Financial Times Deutschland

According to the latest poll on the accession to the EU, conducted by the Central European Opinion Research Group Foundation (CEORG) in March 2003, the support for the accession of their country to the EU among the Polish, Czech and Hungarian citizens should be sufficient for the upcoming referenda on EU membership to be successful. In all countries the overall support for EU accession is over 50%, namely 58.1% in Poland, 58.9% in the Czech Republic, and 59.9% in Hungary. In Slovakia only those that plan to come to referendum were asked about their support.

Among those who are definitely planning to participate or are rather inclined to participate in the referendum, the support to EU accession is even stronger; between 68.8% in Poland to 82.2% in Slovakia. It is interesting to note the narrowing of differences in EU support among the potential referenda participants between the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland since the CEORG research in November 2002. At that time, the Czech Republic had 20 percent points less EU supporters than Hungary and Poland, namely Czech Republic 51.1%, Poland 73.5% and Hungary 75.1%. Four months later, the difference between the three countries is as low as 1.8 percent point.

The biggest question is the real participation at the referendum. 66.1% of Hungarian and 62.4% of Polish respondents claim to be ready to definitely participate in the referendum. In the Czech Republic, only 40.2% and in Slovakia 40.1% of respondents have this level of certainty. If those that will certainly participate and those that will rather participate are put together, in all four countries the participation would reach over 70%.

The Central European Opinion Research Group (CEORG) is a newly established research foundation consisting of three major public opinion research institutes in the Czech Republic (Centrum pro výzkum verejného mínení, CVVM), Hungary (Társadalomkutatási Intézet, TÁRKI) and Poland (Centrum Badania Opinii Spolecznej, CBOS)

The aim of CEORG is to act as a clearing house for comparative surveys conducted by its member organisations and to unify public opinion research methodology and reporting standards in the three countries so that it can provide credible and comparative data concerning public opinion on important local as well as European social and political issues. Thanks to its broad network of interviewers (all three institutes are among the largest in their countries) and its members’ past experience, CEORG offers the capacity to generate a first, truly consistent, regular and reliable fundament for the analysis of changing political views, attitudes and consumer patterns in some of the most prominent Candidate Member States.

On the basis of its regular monthly omnibuses as well as special surveys, and in co-operation with ranking researchers, analysts and opinion leaders in Central European countries, CEORG aspires to become a ‘barometer’ on Central European public opinion.